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Genus Banksia Family Proteaceae

Synonyms: Dryandra R.Br. APNI*

Description: Shrubs or trees with branchlets and young leaves hairy.

Leaves usually alternate, sometimes whorled, simple, margins variously toothed to entire, scleromorphic, surfaces discolorous with upper surface mostly glabrescent, lower surface variously hairy and often paler; ± petiolate.

Conflorescences usually terminal on branchlets 1–4 years old and often with a whorl of lateral branchlets below, cylindrical to ovoid, (or ± globose in some W.A. species), dense, many-flowered, spike-like; rachis woody, elongated. Flowers usually zygomorphic, in sessile pairs. Perianth tubular in bud; tepals mostly splitting at anthesis. Anthers sessile in concave tips of tepals. Hypogynous glands 4. Ovary sessile, glabrous or hairy; ovules 2; style long, often wiry, straight to curved or hooked, pollen presenter usually erect.

Fruit a woody follicle, opening in 2 hard woody valves; seeds 2, winged, with a variously thickened plate between them (separator); few to many follicles transversely orientated on a ± cylindrical, woody infructescence.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 76 spp., Aust., N.G. & Aru Is. Aust.: 76 spp. (75 spp. endemic), all States.

Refs Conran & Clifford (1987), George (1981, 1999a), Thiele & Ladiges (1994).

The follicles of many species remain closed until burnt, while in other species some, or many, follicles open spontaneously.

Key based on George (1981).

Text by G.J. Harden
Taxon concept:

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Banksia robur x oblongifolia,    Banksia vincentia

 Key to the species 
1Styles straight or gently curved after anthesis2
Styles after anthesis hooked just below apex12
2Leaves in regular whorls of 3–5 or in separated whorl-like clusters3
Leaves alternate, scattered along stems
                       Back to 1
5
3Leaves mostly entire on adult plants, rarely irregularly toothed; mature plants arborescentBanksia integrifolia
Leaves mostly regularly toothed; mature plants usually openly branched or multi-stemmed shrubs
                       Back to 2
4
4Perianth 20–25 mm long; common bracts with a tuft of long brownish hairs at apexBanksia penicillata
Perianth 16–20 mm long; common bracts with very short whitish hairs at apex
                       Back to 3
Banksia paludosa
5Leaves less than 1 cm wide and 2–6 cm long; leaves usually entire on adult plants, sometimes coarsely and irregularly toothed6
Leaves more than 1 cm wide, and more than 4 cm long, usually regularly toothed
                       Back to 2
7
6Apices of leaves not pungent-pointed, more or less truncate; secondary veins generally obscure on lower surface; perianth persistent in fruitBanksia marginata
Apices of leaves pungent-pointed, more or less acute; secondary veins prominent on lower surface; perianth not persistent in fruit
                       Back to 5
Banksia canei
7Leaves 1–4 cm wide, margins more or less recurved to flat8
Leaves more than 4 cm wide, margins more or less flat
                       Back to 5
Banksia robur
8Perianth 16–25 mm long; leaves 4–10 cm long, forks between teeth U-shaped9
Perianth 35–45 mm long; leaves mostly 8–20 cm long, forks between teeth V-shaped
                       Back to 7
11
9Perianth 20–25 mm long10
Perianth 16–20 mm long
                       Back to 8
Banksia paludosa
10Branchlets hirsute becoming glabrous within a year; common bracts with a tuft of long brownish hairs at apex; perianth pubescentBanksia conferta
Branchlets remaining closely tomentose; common bracts without a tuft of long hairs at apex; perianth shortly hirsute
                       Back to 9
Banksia oblongifolia
11Leaves usually 2–4 cm wide; gynoecium usually 5–6 cm long, pollen presenter fusiform, 2–3 mm longBanksia serrata
Leaves mostly 1–2 cm wide; gynoecium 3.5–4.5 cm long, pollen presenter conical, c. 1 mm long
                       Back to 8
Banksia aemula
12Leaves mostly more than 3 cm long, scattered13
Leaves usually less than 2 cm long, crowded
                       Back to 1
Banksia ericifolia
13Leaves 1–2 mm wide; margins revolute so as lower surface is mainly concealedBanksia spinulosa
Leaves more than 2 mm wide, leaves flat or revolute; lower surface of leaves with indumentum of white, grey or brown
                       Back to 12
14
14Leaf margin toothed for most of the leaf lengthBanksia collina
Leaves mostly entire except for a few teeth near the apex
                       Back to 13
15
15Flowers orange or yellow; circumference of infrutescence 85–120 mm; lignotuber present;usually multistemmed shrubBanksia neoanglica
Flowers pink; circumference of infrutescence 113–125 mm; lignotuber absent; usually single-stemmed shrub
                       Back to 14
Banksia cunninghamii

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